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Back Street (1941)

Approved | | Drama | 7 February 1941 (USA)
Pretty Rae Smith and handsome Walter Saxel meet, fall in love and make plans to marry. Unfortunately, their marriage plans get sabotaged when a jealous beau makes Rae miss the ceremony. The... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Ed Porter
...
Richard Saxel
...
Harry Niles
...
Mrs. Smith
...
Felix Darren
...
Fredda Smith
...
Elizabeth Saxel
Kitty O'Neil ...
Mrs. Dilling
...
Corinne Saxel
...
Mrs. Miller
Marjorie Gateson ...
Mrs. Adams
...
Miss Evans
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Storyline

Pretty Rae Smith and handsome Walter Saxel meet, fall in love and make plans to marry. Unfortunately, their marriage plans get sabotaged when a jealous beau makes Rae miss the ceremony. The two meet many years later in New York, only now Walter is married. Refusing to be shut out of his life, Rae agrees to be Walter's mistress. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 February 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Esquina do Pecado  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alfred Hitchcock was considered for directing this film. See more »

Connections

Version of Back Street (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(uncredited)
Traditional Scottish music
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Sung by New Year's Eve party revellers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dated self sacrifice, but well acted
20 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film (based on a Fanny Hurst best seller) is way out of date in the modern age. No self-respecting woman would be so willing to sacrifice her career for the prospect of being a millionaire's kept woman. No man, seriously in love with any woman, would put them through such a demeaning situation (they would consider divorce first of all, then remarriage). But there was supposed to be a sense of self-sacrifice by the heroine (Margaret Sullivan) that transcended the entire story.

It is the acting that saves this film. Sullivan gives another of her touching performances, like THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER and SING NO SAD SONGS FOR ME. Charles Boyer is as charming as ever, here as a potentially important banker who is going to marry his boss's daughter. Instead, he meets Sullivan and is captivated by her spirit and seeming independence. She has a number of male admirers (Frank McHugh and Frank Jenks among them). She's also something of a tease, leading on the others about dating them. Boyer and Sullivan gradually fall in love, but he is resigned (for ambitions sake) to marry the boss's daughter. But he sends word to Sullivan that if she will go to the steamboat landing where he is waiting, he would marry her despite his career. She gets the message, and tries to get to the landing. But she chooses to use Jenks as her "taxi driver", and he (recalling her promise to go with him for a jaunt into the woods), takes her miles in the opposite direction. When he hears her imploring him to turn around, and realizes that she has been teasing him all along, he tells her to get out of the buggy and walk back by herself. So she misses the steamboat, and Boyer (thinking she stood him up) leaves to marry the boss's daughter.

Years later, after having developed a career as a designer, she meets the married Boyer again, and he convinces her to give up her career and become his mistress. Subsequently, despite warnings from her friend McHugh, and her other boyfriend Richard Carlston, she does not give up her relationship. It lasts until the end of their lives.

All the performers are good. Among the minor performances note Tim Holt as Boyer's son who first reads Sullivan the riot act, but subsequently ends up sympathizing with her. Good cast and production, but the story is as dated as a dodo.


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